Manage your Home Care Package services
Your service provider is responsible to ensure you receive quality care and services. Their key responsibilities to you are:
- To respect your rights
This includes the right to:
- be treated and accepted as an individual and have your preferences respected
- receive care that is respectful of you, and your family and home
- receive care without being obliged to feel grateful to those providing the care.
Learn more about your rights.
- To provide you with reliable, safe and quality services
- giving you information about your services
- respecting your privacy and dignity
- handling your concerns or complaints fairly and confidentially.
Learn more about the standards your provider has to meet on the Aged Care Quality Standards page.
- To provide services that meet your needs
Your provider should review your services at least every 12 months to make sure they continue to meet your needs.
If there is a significant change in your care needs, your provider should refer you to My Aged Care for another assessment.
What if my needs change?
Your care needs may change over time. If this happens, you can change your services to better suit you. If you notice that your care needs change:
- Talk to your provider in the first instance and ask for a review of your care plan
You may need a different combination of services to meet your new needs. Your provider will work with you to review your care plan and package budget.
- Call My Aged Care for a reassessment
If your provider can’t help, you may need to be reassessed for a higher level Home Care Package or other support services.
Can I take a break from my Home Care Package?
Yes. If you need to take leave to go into hospital, receive transition care or residential respite, or for social reasons such as going on a holiday, you can take time away from your Home Care Package. You should:
- Call your provider to let them know you are going away
Tell them the dates you’ll be away so that your services can be temporarily suspended.
- Ask them what fees you will be asked to pay while on leave
Depending on the type of leave and how long the leave is, your fees may be reduced.
Your Home Care Agreement will provide more information about what happens if you want or need to take leave.
If you need to go into hospital, you may find that after your hospital stay your care needs have changed. This may be temporary while you recover, or your needs may have changed permanently.
Transition care provides short-term support for older people after a hospital stay. Read more about transition care.
If you are feeling alone and don’t have regular contact with family or friends, the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) can help.
The CVS can organise volunteers to visit people receiving Home Care Packages. They have coordinators in each state and territory who will match you with a suitable regular visitor.
Read more about the CVS organisations in your area.
Can I change providers?
Yes. Sometimes you may have to change providers; for example, if you move house. But changing can also be a choice. If you’re looking for a better fit, you may want to change to a provider that better suits you. You can do this at any time, and your current provider must support you in the move. You will need to:
- Search for a new provider
Find a new provider before agreeing on an end date with your current one. This will limit issues like a gap in service delivery if you don’t have a new provider ready.
Check your Home Care Agreement so you know about any conditions such as notice periods and the exit amount that may apply.
- Reactivate your referral code
Once you have found a new provider, call My Aged Care to reactivate your referral code. You need to give this code to your new provider before you can start receiving services.
- Inform your current provider and agree on an end date
Together you will decide on the date when services will stop. The start date with your new provider must be on or after the end date you have agreed to with your old provider. Try to ensure that the end date of your old services and the start date of your new provider are the same.
This will help avoid any disruptions to your services. Any fees paid in advance must be refunded by your old provider.
- Enter into a new Home Care Agreement
You’ll need to enter into a Home Care Agreement with your new provider. For more information on entering into agreements, read our Agreeing to services page.
What if I don’t start immediately?
You have 56 days commencing from the agreed end date with your current provider to enter into a Home Care Agreement with a new provider. If you do not enter into an Agreement by this time, your Home Care Package will be withdrawn. Within the 56 days, you can call My Aged Care to request an extension of a further 28 days if you need it.
What if I have a complaint?
If you are unhappy with any aspect of the care or services you receive, there are two ways you can make a complaint:
- speak to your service provider
- contact the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
Talk to your service provider first to see if they can help. They are there to support you and should listen to your concerns and take necessary action.
Sometimes, complaints can’t be resolved by your service provider. Or you may not feel comfortable raising your concerns with them. In such cases, you have the right to contact the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. For more information, visit our Complaints page.
I’m happy with my interim package - can I keep it?
If you’re happy with a lower level package and want to keep it instead of your approved level, you must opt out of the national priority system before being assigned a higher package level.
You can opt out by calling the My Aged Care contact centre. After a higher level package is assigned, it cannot be declined in favour of the interim package. If you change your mind, call My Aged Care at any time and opt back in for your approved higher level package. There is no disadvantage to you. Your place in the national priority system is based on when you were first approved for care for that package level and priority for service.
Will I wait longer if I accept an interim package?
Receiving an interim level package doesn’t mean you’ll wait longer for a package at the approved level. Your interim package has no impact on your wait time. It simply allows you to access care and services while you wait. Once a package becomes available at a higher package level, it will be assigned to you. Your provider will receive a notification of the new package level. You will also receive a letter. There’s nothing you need to do when your approved package is assigned. The upgrade is automatically accepted.